Select Sports Group hits a goal for Pacific Hockey

Select Sports Group of Just Hockey Australia , GoHockey New Zealand and Mazon Hockey have recently come onboard as a fantastic supporter of Pacific Island hockey. For years Just Hockey has been the key supplier for both Papua New Guinea and Fiji Hockey including support of lesser financial bodies including Vanuatu and Samoa Hockey.

In a lucky coincidence, Managing Director Lance Forkgen, was in Port Vila on the week of Vanuatu’s 6 a side League finals this past May. This was the first league held in Vanuatu and was a fantastic success, with finals in men’s women’s and U.15 League. Mr. Forkgen was impressed by what he saw at the finals, between the talent and athleticism of the young boys and girls, as well as the eagerness and spirit of kids aged as young as two years old to join in.

After seeing so many kids keen to be involved, and the lack resources at hand, Mr Forkgen was keen to help money tight nations such as Vanuatu and Samoa continue to develop and spread hockey, and sat down with Vanuatu Hockey Federation to see how he could assist.

For countries new to hockey, access to equipment and funds to keep up with demand is always is always the biggest challenge. To address this SS Group has come up with a “Pacific Hockey Promotion Price List”, to ensure equipment is more easily affordable, long term, to everybody. The price list will divide countries up into categories, depending on their financial capabilities. Vanuatu and Samoa being able to purchase equipment on a non profit basis.

“This is a fantastic step for us at Vanuatu Hockey” says VHF president George Kalkaua. “For the past year we have been flooded with requests from villages, islands, schools and community groups around Vanuatu to introduce hockey. Our only limitation is equipment, and this will be a great step forward in helping us to keep up with demand.”

Already after this new partnership, Just Hockey Australia division has donated a range of equipment including bibs, pikinini (minkey) balls and socks, and the VHF has been able to secure funds to purchase a set of 80 new children’s sticks for the youth centre in Port Vila.

Similarly Mazon Hockey has fully kitted up two young Ni Vanuatu players who are currently in Australia for playing for Casuarina Hockey Club for the season, and will continue supporting talented upcoming players who do not have the means to afford basic hockey equipment.

Finally, to affirm its support for Pacific Hockey, there is talk of developing a long term scheme, perhaps looking at a coach exchange program or something similar to ensure the passion and talent of youth in the Pacific is nurtured and supported. Something very much in the early stages, but exciting none the less.

The VHF is extremely grateful for all the generosity shown by the SS Group of Just Hockey Australia , GoHockey NZ and Mazon. We are looking forward to a long future together developing hockey for all.



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